Skip to main content

tv   CNN Newsroom  CNN  December 20, 2011 11:00am-1:00pm EST

11:00 am
i'm suzanne malveaux. want to get you up to speed on this day, tuesday, december 20. a deal between the house republicans and democrats. they are fighting for a tax cut. it could hit home for your family's finances as well. the senate doesn't want to pass a two-month extension. they want a conference committee to work out a year-long deal. it's causing all kinds of gridlock. >> our members do not want to just punt and do a two-month, short-term fix where we have to come back and do this again. we're here, we're willing to work. >> it's just a radical tea party republicans who are holding up this tax cut for the american people and jeopardizing our economic growth. >> north korea's newly declared
11:01 am
great successor steps to the forefront. kim jong un views his father. it is the first time the 20-something-year-old has appeared in public since his father's death. he has inherited the north korean leadership, including its weapo nuclear arsenal. many around the world are worried about how he's going to lead. state-run tv continues to show pictures like these, north koreans weeping uncontrollably as they supposedly mourn the death of their so-called leader. the nation is now if an 11-day official mourning period. reactions from the international committee to the death of kim jong il are somewhat muted. south korea's government did express their sympathy to the people of north korea but will not be sending a government delegation. the last u.s. air man coming
11:02 am
home from iraq arrived today. they touched down on u.s. soil just a short time ago. they had a lot of great supporters. >> it's just very special to show that we care and it doesn't matter whether you were, you know, for the operation or against it. these people volunteered to go and to defend our country, and we just have to appreciate what they've done for us, and you have to tell them. >> itsince the start of the war almost nine years ago, 4500 u.s. personnel were killed, another 30,000 injured, and an estimated 150,000 iraqis lost their lives. there's a major winter storm ripping through the nation's midsection putting holiday travel plans on hold for millions of folks now. we are talking about parts of texas, new mexico and kansas especially hard hit.
11:03 am
this is what it looked like in southwest kansas last night. close to a foot of snow coming down. alexandra is joining us in the cnn weather center for the storm, and it's going to be tough for people trying to travel on the holidays. >> suzanne, we talked about it yesterday. we talked about a foot of snow. i've got two feet to show you in new mexico. certainly the storm has delivered, but you know where it really has some legs left? a big picture left, still hard hit but hard hit also today. on i-40 between albuquerque and amarillo, a 200-mile stretch closed due to blizzard conditions right now. we'll talk about when things will get better. will this storm make its way to the east coast and bring snow? all of that coming up in a little bit. former penn state coach joe paterno is out of a pennsylvania hospital. a source close to the family says that he was released friday.
11:04 am
he had been there for a week recovering from a fractured hip. he also has lung cancer. now, paterno lost his coaching job at the height of the child sex abuse scandal involving his long-time defensive coordinator jerry sandusky. this is the kind of political gridlock that could have a very real impact on your family's bottom line. a two-month extension of the payroll tax cut passed the senate, but it is now languishing in the house. if something doesn't give soon, the average american family is going to pay the price. what are we talking about? without a deal, taxes will go up for many americans in january. the tax release about $1,000, but there is a wide range here. if you make $35,000 a year, you're going to pay $700 more. if you make 110,000, your taxes are going to go up by more than $2300. kate baldoain, at the center of
11:05 am
capitol hill, explain to us right now, what is the holdup here? >> the holdup on where we are today, because it seems to change a little bit, suzanne, but the holdup has to do with the short-term extension. the senate had a two-month extension of the payroll tax cut with democratic and republican support. house republicans are opposed to the two-month extension. they say it does not solve the problem, it does not do what the payroll tax cut is supposed to do, which is stimulate the economy. it doesn't provide the certainty that they need, so theriot posed -- they are exposed to the two-week extension. what we need is a vote using a procedural maneuver so they're only voting to reject the measure rather than a yay or nay up and down vote on whether or not to accept or move forward with the senate bill, but they will be voting basically to strike down the senate bill and that could be happening in the next hour or so, and that's where things will stand. so the house is moving their
11:06 am
direction as house republicans, they believe they have the support to strike this down. and as we know, senate democrat leader harry reid says he has no intention of reopening negotiations with what the house says they want, in harry reid's mind, until the house moves on this two-month extension which they do not seem compelled to do right now. >> i imagine they're probably worried about what the voters are thinking about this back and forth. i want you to listen to what some of these folks here in atlanta are saying about what's taking place in washington. >> you know, you're looking at even someone that just makes the smaller amount, you know, that extra $700 a year is a lot when we can't pay our bills. >> congress isn't really considering the people of america and the struggles that we're going through. >> fighting over things that are compa comparatively unimportant, in my opinion, is kind of disgusting.
11:07 am
>> kate, democrats, republicans, which side is really worried about how they're going to look from all of this back and forth? >> you can be certain, suzanne, both sides are worried about that. and there is really evidence all over the place that they're very much worried about, as we like to say in washington, the op tis of what all this is and the fallout. they're pushing a line saying if democrats don't vote for this two-month extension, republicans in their mind will have full responsibility if this tax cut expires. that has a lot of politics in that statement as well. as i mentioned earlier, just the structure of the vote in the house today appears to show that they're very worried about the political fallout. house republicans are not voting on -- the house is not voting on if they want to accept or not accept the senate measure, they're voting yes or no to reject the measure and send this to conference to hash out the differences. that really appears a way to house republicans some political
11:08 am
cover so they're not seen as having to vote against the extended payroll tax cut, which you can be sure democrats would use to say they're therefore voting to increase taxes. so there is a lot of politics at play. no one should be fooled any other way, suzanne. >> all right. kate baldoain, thank you. a hidden camera catches what life is like inside a north korean labor camp in siberia, of all places. and from being an insurance executive to working in food services, many americans are forced to take much lower-paying jobs. a winter storm forces holiday shoppers to stay off the roads in the plains as well as the southwest. also, all right, maybe. a new study says there are healthier menu options now at the airport. and later, why medicaid won't pay for this four-month-old to have this
11:09 am
life-saving surgery in boston. >> is the government making a life or death decision about your child? >> absolutely. medicaid is the one who holds my child's life in their hands right now. i am so glad to get . just to be able to wake up in the morning on your own. that's a big accomplishment to me. i don't know how much money i need. but i know that whatever i have that's what i'm going to live within. ♪ ♪
11:10 am
mmm... pillsbury crescent wrapped brie just unroll, wrap the brie and bake. it's so easy. now this might even impress aunt martha. pillsbury crescent wrapped brie. holiday ideas made easy.
11:11 am
the world is watching with a worried eye as the impoverished nuclear nation of north korea hails a new leader who is just 20-something years old. the body of kim jong il is lying in state in a glass coffin in pyongyang. his young son and successor, kim jong un, is now being hailed as born of heaven. joining us live from seoul, south korea is anna.
11:12 am
anna, tell us about the son here. he is in hheriting a country, hs young, he's inexperienced. south korea must be pretty worried. >> there is a great deal of uncertainty, suzanne, for all those reasons you just listed. we don't know much about kim jong un. he's in his late 20s, he's inexperienced, he's been thrust in this position because of his father's sudden death. he began this succession progress some years ago, being taken under his father's wing, after his father suffered that heart attack, that stroke back in 2000. obviously, the process would have been a lot longer. his father had some 14 years before he had to take over the reins.
11:13 am
kim jong un only had a few years. he's dealing with an impoverished country. a quarter of the country is facing salvation and they also have these nuclear weapons. >> how is the south korea government responding? how are they reacting to this? >> well, the big news here in seoul is the way that south korea found out about this, which was with the rest of the world. there has been a real backlash because south korean intelligence really dropped the ball on this one. they found out some 50 hours after kim jong il actually died. suzanne, we caught up with the head of the intelligence committee who grilled the nis, the national intelligence security service, today, and they are basically the equivalent of the cia, and he was demanding answers. he said, why did this happen? why didn't we know that the leader of the north had actually
11:14 am
died? and they defended their actions. they said basically nothing had changed within north korea, that it was still the day-to-day operations, nothing had changed. no alarm bells had gone off, but this particular committee chairman is not happy. he is demanding answers, and perhaps we should have a quick listen to what he had to say. >> translator: of course not. unlike the surrounding countries such as the u.s., japan, russia and even china, because we're the country that directly shares a border with north korea, for the national intelligence service to not know that the leader, kim jong il, had passed away, i think, regardless of reason, is unacceptable. >> that was kung yong se saying he's basically not happy with the answers coming out of north korea. north korea is the most closed country on earth.
11:15 am
our tom foreman explains why it poses a threat to south korea and beyond. >> reporter: for a poor country, north korea has long spent a disproportionate amount making its army look strong. what concerns military analysts most, however, is what we cannot see. first, the nuclear threat. under the obsessive prodding of kim jong il, the secret nation has been enriching uranium and a massing plutonium, perhaps in sites enough to make 6 or 8 plouutonium weapons or more. they could reach south korea, japan, maybe hawaii or north america. another theory is that nukes could be hidden on merchant ships and sailed to ports around the globe. second, the artillery threat. after the korea war, the north
11:16 am
was heavily supported by russia. that stopped in the early '90s. but analysts say they've retained hundreds of pieces from that era and have added many more rockets and skcud missiles. although they would probably be wiped out quickly in warfare, they think they could pour it on the border, producing tens of thousands of deaths in just the first hours. and third, there is the human threat. north korea has 400,000 infantry troops which military experts believe would either flood across the border into the south or dig in to repel any counterattack. more important, the north is believed to have 200,000 highly trained special forces soldiers who could infiltrate the south, wage guerilla war and many
11:17 am
things. they believe the war has been predicted for so long and maybe even more so now. >> he's an offbeat reporter who got an up close look at what life was like in the role of kim jong il. we talk to advice magazine shane smith about these leaders of personality. and eating at the airport getting healthier these days. we're going to tell you why. and how much the people in your life count on you. that's why we offer accident forgiveness, man: good job. where your price won't increase due to your first accident. we also offer a hassle-free lifetime repair guarantee, where the repairs made on your car are guaranteed for life or they're on us. these are just two of the valuable features
11:18 am
you can expect from liberty mutual. plus, when you insure both your home and car with us, it could save you time and money. at liberty mutual, we help you move on with your life. so get the insurance responsible drivers like you deserve. looks really good. call us at... or visit your local liberty mutual office, where an agent can help you find the policy that's right for you. liberty mutual insurance. responsibility. what's your policy?
11:19 am
so the number of americans filing for unemployment benefits is at a three-year low.
11:20 am
it's great news on the surface but that figure actually masks the fact that many americans, desperate after being unemployed for so long, are taking much lower-paying jobs. >> this is ready. not yet? what are we waiting for? >> we're going to put it in some cups on the side. >> reporter: you wouldn't know it by looking at him now, but carl fields is a former insurance broker executive, laid off after more than 25 years at the same firm. >> i'm four days short of my 58th birthday. my notice came as a total shock, quite honestly. >> reporter: a shock followed by a grueling job hunt that lasted two years and four months. now he's managing kitchen staff at a rehabilitation home. >> my current salary is less than a third of what i was making two and a half years ago. that's a tremendous step backwards. >> reporter: backwards straight into a hole. >> a deep hole.
11:21 am
and, you know, we have mortgages, we have car payment, at least for lynette's car, we have insurances, we have medical needs. we have life needs, quite honestly. >> reporter: each month, carl and his wife lynette come up short. how much? a lot. >> a lot. >> reporter: most laid-off workers take a large pay cut but few as large as the one carl took. >> for the african-american wage difference between their old job and their new job is more on the order of close to 20%, 22, 23%. these are estimates. >> reporter: economist bill rogers says the u.s. is in a pothole recovery, and there is evidence that college-educated americans like carl are running into bigger obstacles. >> on average, african-americans are spending about a month longer to find that job. >> reporter: carl's pastor, buster sori, picked up on the
11:22 am
frustration in december and started a ministry to help. >> 155 church members signed up and said, i need the church's help in finding jobs. >> reporter: they love church and consider it central to their lives. that's why they tithe and give 10% of their earnings to the church. >> it's a struggle. i tell you, since i've been working, there's a certain delight that goes into that tithe now. i think more so than before. because it has new meaning. it has especially good meaning now because god's promise to us held, too. >> good for him. so if you're planning to fly home for the holidays, if you get hungry at the airport like i do, it turns out you have more
11:23 am
healthy choices to choose from. felicia taylor live at the new york stock exchange. we're going to talk about this airport restaurant makeover, but first tell us a little about the stocks. >> yeah, i think it's a little too soon to call this a santa claus rally, we'll see if it can actually last, but naturally there is a little bit of a rebound from the losses we've seen over the last few trading sessions. but the most significant part of this is we've had an updated housing report. home building jumped in november to a new two-year high. still at the press levels, and analysts do worry about who is going to actually be buying these houses, and they're focusing on the positive. we've also seen some rising confidence in germany and a stock option that went well, and the eurozone is powering this rally. the dow is up 275 points. especially those housing stocks, they're up between 5 and 7%, so that's very strong. the nasdaq is up 2-3/4%, so a
11:24 am
really strong rally on this tuesday. >> that's good. i spend a lot of time at the airport so i love this story. you have to tell me what is going on here because i'm always stopping off looking for something to eat while i'm waiting. >> me, too. i love this story. i've been traveling quite a bit lately as well, and i'm always wondering, where is that vegetable, where is that fruit? evidently, 83% of airport restaurants have at least one healthy option. that's good news. i think it should be more, but this is definitely up from 57% of ten years ago. so what's healthy? something vegetarian, low calorie, low fat. the healthiest airport, detroit. its wayne county airport scored a 100%, every single restaurant, yeah, which is great, had at least one healthy option, and that was followed by san francisco and washington's dulles airport. suzanne, last on the list was
11:25 am
atlanta's hartsfield-jackson airport. >> oh, no. oh, no. >> and i was just there, and i couldn't find anything. so they've got to ramp it up a little bit. >> i know. i'm always getting a burger or something, the fries and everything. i'm there all the time. i guess this is a good business decision, though, right, for all these restaurants to jump in and folks are demanding it, right? travelers are asking for these things. >> absolutely. i mean, listen, all of us like that sort of french fries and not so healthy option? but the truth is that people really do want healthier food. fast food chains picked up on that trend a few years ago. there is not that much food on board airplanes anymore. suppliers are naturally looking for something to buy in the airport, so that, of course, adds to the bottom line. the more options that you give people, the more chances that vendors have to make money, the airplanes like it because they don't have to offer the food so they're saving money in certain respects and hopefully passing that on to the consumer. the consumer benefits because
11:26 am
they get the healthier choices. so this is a win-win situation for just about everybody, frankly. >> all right, atlanta has to do a little better here. thank you, felicia. he is one of the few journalists to get inside north korea with a camera. he paints another picture of kim jong il. >> we're sitting here watching people. [ inaudible ]
11:27 am
11:28 am
here's what's ahead on the
11:29 am
rundown. inside north korea, i'm going to talk tie journalist who has been there. a heavy dose of winter weather. it has derailed holiday travel plans for millions of folks. one mother's struggle with medicaid rules over a baby with a heart defect. documentary filmmaker shane smith managed to sneak into north korea twice. what he saw and shot there was, in his own words, totally insane. ♪ >> the thing is when you go to north korea, you're not a tourist. you're on a government banking tour. you can't go anywhere outside of your hotel without your guide, your translator and your special police. you're also not allowed cell phone, radio or computer of any kind and are taken on a highly
11:30 am
structured tour only to the sights and monuments they want you to see. you end up traveling for hours and hours on empty road only to see the towers of the people or the libraries of the people or the soccer of the people. the only people you get to meet is only if they are politically sanctioned as part of the tour. >> shane has advice news. he joins us now. it's pretty amazing to see those pictures. in your words you say it's insane. tell us what is insane about north korea when you were there. >> well, it's insane from start to finish. when you go there, it's like going back in time to russia or m malwist china. it's total dictatorship. it's like a disney ride of going back to 1935 russia.
11:31 am
it's crazy. it's crazy from start to finish. >> were there any people around you who wanted to talk to you, tried to talk to you, or what would have happened if you tried to talk to them? >> you get in a lot of trouble. when you first arrive in north korea, they take you to a hotel that's on an island. and as you approach it, it's about a 40-story hotel, and there's only one line of lights, and you realize there is only one floor being used. they don't let very many people in. and when you get to the hotel, you are assigned secret police, a guide, a translator, a whole sort of cadre of people that surround you. you can't go talk to anybody or go anywhere or do anything without these people with you at all times. >> i notice in that clip you went from one museum or palace to another place, all these big government structures. and then you have those isolated roads. did you ever see anybody on those roads or in those fields where they say those are the starving people, the people who are suffering inside that country? >> yeah. i mean, what's interesting is you'll drive south of the dmv
11:32 am
and you won't see any other cars for about two and a half, three hours on the highway. you see people actually from, like, the countryside around the highway working on the highway or fixing it because it everybody's responsibility. or you'll see people working on stuff or fixing stuff. but you don't really see that many people and you don't see any cars. there is obviously no electricity in a lot of these places. one thing that i saw which killed me was they have little villages, but instead of a village of lots of different houses or whatever, it's just one apartment block, but they've ripped out all of the steel to sell to china for scraps and all of the windows so it's a 20, 30-story building with cooking supplies on the 30th floor. so they're carrying up cooking supplies to the 30th floor. it's crazy. >> i want people to see a little more of this documentary.
11:33 am
i'll play a little clip for them. >> there are no cultural similarities whatsoever. ♪ >> sometimes i imagine someone coming from the cowboy times, like someone who comes from a time machine frozen in ice or something, and he has to explain to them what an airplane is or he has to explain to them, you know, what supermarkets are. and this is as close as you get to that. this is a time machine. this is 1930s russia, 1950s soviet union. they see me as the yankee perilous agressor, and i see them as the land that time forgot. >> it's really insightful, the land that time forgot. how does the government manage to do that, to maintain such strict control over the information they're getting from the outside world? i mean, you guys were there, they knew you were there. how did they manage that? >> well, you're not allowed to bring in any computers, any telephones, no one has computers
11:34 am
or telephones there, and there's no television except state-run television, no radio except state-run radio. you're told from birth that kim jong il is god, so why wouldn't you believe that they're jesus. we shot everything on little sony cyber shots with memory cards in them, so we'd be like, oh, we're going to take a picture now. they didn't really know we were shooting what we were shooting. we had to be very secretive, and if they would have caught us, it would have been bad. >> shane, during your experience there, was there ever a time when the people resisted what was happening to them? like you saw them -- whether it was an expression in their eyes or something they said to you, like we're not happy with this situation here? >> no, and i don't think that they would. they definitely wouldn't to a foreigner who they've been brought up to believe that we're capitalist agressors and we're all spies. also, there is such a rule of fear that if you do anything
11:35 am
against the state then you will be put in a concentration camp or a work camp much like the ones that we saw in siberia. i just got back from siberia where we saw north korean slave labor camps that were just like russia. >> thank you very much. if you go back again, come back. really, just incredible courage it takes, too, to do the kind of work that you do. >> thank you very much. >> sure. blizzard conditions are continuing in the nation's midwest section. we're going to find out when this is going to make it to the nation's east coast. ♪ now i'm a geologist at chevron, and i get to help science teachers. it has four servo motors and a wireless microcontroller. over the last three years we've put nearly 100 million dollars into american education. that's thousands of kids learning to love science. ♪ isn't that cool? and that's pretty cool.
11:36 am
♪ forty years ago, he wasn't worried about retirement. he'd yet to hear of mutual funds, iras, or annuities. back then, he had something more important to do. he wasn't focused on his future but fortunately, somebody else was. at usaa we provide retirement solutions for our military, veterans and their families. from investments... to life insurance... to health care options. learn more with our free usaa retirement guide. call 877-242-usaa.
11:37 am
11:38 am
all right, we got a major winter storm that tops our look at the stories making news across the country. we got strong winds, blowing snow, brought visibility to less than a quarter of a mile in the western part of kansas overnight. close to a foot of snow came down. storm warnings still in effect in central northern kansas. new mexico got socked with as much as two feet of snow across the northeast part of the state. a single wind gust in clayton, new mexico was clocked at 72 miles an hour. in texas, dangerous driving conditions have shut down interstate 40 from amarillo to just east of albuquerque. there is a lot of traffic accidents that have been reported. texas governor rick perry called
11:39 am
on texas military forces to help people as they need help on those roads. alexandra steele from the weather center is with us. there are a lot folks are dealing with. this is the holiday season. people want to move, they want to travel. it has been really, really rough. >> in the texas panhandle alone, 100 people had called for service. blizzard warnings are still in effect. it's not a fait accompli yet, this thing does have legs yet. two feet of snow, you're talking about 70-mile-an-hour wind gusts. this from pietown, new mexico, western new mexico. two feet of snow, kind of the winner so far. grant, new mexico, 14 inches. you can really see, oklahoma, kansas and new mexico certainly hardest hit with this. in terms of wind gusts, there's that 72 suzanne just mentioned. so what we've seen against heavy snow coming down, one, two, to three inches an hour, coupled with these very strong north winds at 40 and 50, even 60 and
11:40 am
70 miles per hour. we will see a few gusty winds, but for the most part we're going to watch the back side of this taper off throughout the day. as each hour goes on, things will only improve. but this is an incredibly dynamic storm. what's fascinating about it, the cold air behind it, here's the area of low pressure right behind kansas which still has some snow left in it. but ahead of it, this is the warm sector of the storm. showers and thunderstorms and it's incredibly mild here in the southeast, so this is just a rain maker and will stay just a rain maker. hail, gusty winds the biggest threat. especially portions of northern mississippi and alabama today. not out of the question for an isolated tornado. december, believe it or not, we do see on the whole about 34 tornadoes, so we could see one. i think probably we won't, but it isn't out of the question. here's the big picture. here's the back side of this storm. this is now wednesday morning, so tomorrow morning we're going to watch this low move up into the upper midwest.
11:41 am
some snow showers, maybe this chicago a snow/sleet mix. light snow around the great lakes, but this is all a rain maker so a very wet day in the northeast tomorrow. if you're talking about flying out of any of the big airports in the east tomorrow, it's best to stay. new mexico, western new mexico, one to two feet of snow. more snow coming in for them thursday and friday, the same track. the track is really not changing much. here's that next storm thursday morning. also more rain coming into the gulf coast on thursday morning as well. so more of this making its way. so suzanne, the wettest day in the northeast certainly will be wednesday and thursday, and more rain on friday. for the weekend, though, on christmas, one of the computer models pointing out maybe some snow in the northeast in the big cities, new york and boston, so we'll have to see if that's verified. >> it's going to be a big mess. republican presidential
11:42 am
candidate just got a big endorsement from a leading christian conservative group in iowa. we'll have a live report ahead. i have astigmatism.
11:43 am
my old contacts would sometimes move and blur my vision. then my eye doctor told me about acuvue® oasys for astigmatism. he said it's the only lens of its kind designed to realign naturally with every blink so now, i'm seeing more clearly. [ male announcer ] learn more at acuvue.com. how about the beat of a healthy heart? campbell's healthy request soup is delicious, and earned this heart, for being heart healthy. ♪ feel the beat? it's amazing what soup can do.
11:44 am
we're just now learning about a brand new presidential endorsement from a prominent conservative group. jim la costa is live from the political desk in washington.
11:45 am
tell us about this group and who got it. >> this is a prominent endorsement from a very influential republican party in iowa, suzanne. the leader is basically the christian service movement in iowa. it's the most prominent evangelical christian movement in that state, and i was talking to the head of that group just last week. he was indicating to me at that time that the endorsement was havi -- the group was having a tough time coming up with an endorsement. just a few minutes ago, the family leader said that the group would not endorse somebody in the iowa caucuses this time around but that he personally would make an endorsement, and he did that just a few moments ago. here it is. >> so today i, as an individual, am going to endorse rick santorum. i'm going to mobilize whatever resources i have at my disposal to advocate for him. i will not tear down another
11:46 am
candidate because we have other good candidates in this race. and if one of those candidates emerge as our nominee, i'll get fully behind that candidate. >> so what's very interesting about this announcement is that a lot of people in iowa and in the political establishment here in washington were sort of wondering whether or not this group would go ahead and pick newt gingrich, the form. the former speaker of the house was very supportive of this organization when they were out to oust some stream court justices a couple years ago over the issue of gay marriage in that state, suzanne. newt gingrich was very supportive of that effort. it was thought widely in many political circles in iowa that perhaps in return for that support, newt gingrich would get this endorsement. but this is an indication that in iowa and among social conservatives, there are some folks that are very uncomfortable with the speaker's personal life. that is a big part of this. i talked to bob van der plot
11:47 am
about this in sioux city, and he indicated to me if newt gingrich had not gone through two marriages before his current marriage with calista gingrich, he probably would have locked up this endorsement. this is disappointing for newt gingrich but also for rick s-- rick santorum. he needs all the help he can get in these iowa caucuses. >> yeah, he's pretty alone in the polls there. you know where to go, cnnpolitics.com. north korea's so-called dear leader isn't so dearly mourned in some parts of the world. see how people outside north korea are remembering kim jong il. wow. nice place. yeah. [ chuckles ] the family thinks i'm out shipping these. smooth move. you used priority mail flat rate boxes. if it fits, it ships for a low, flat rate. paid for postage online and arranged a free pickup. and i'm gonna track them online, too. nice.
11:48 am
between those boxes and this place, i'm totally staying sane this year. do i smell snickerdoodles? maybe. [ timer dings ] got to go. priority mail flat rate shipping at usps.com. a simpler way to ship. see? he's taking his vitamins. new one a day vitacraves plus omega-3 dha is a complete multivitamin for adults. plus an excellent source of omega-3 dha in a great tasting gummy. one a day, gummies for grown-ups.
11:49 am
11:50 am
kim jong-il was known as dear leader. his people fell out in the streets crying hysterically. but in the west he was the butt of many jokes. >> reporter: when the dear leader became the dearry departed, don't expect too much respect. contrast that with how the news was delivered by a north korean anchor near tears. the same anchor who delivered the news when kim jong-il's father died 17 years earlier.
11:51 am
but in the west, kim was seen as a ruthless cartoon character dictator with an ego as big as his glasses, many pairs of glasses. kim was most famously portrayed by the creators of south park, feeding u.n. inspector to his pet fish in team america. >> you have any idea how [ bleep ] busy i am. >> reporter: and singing mournfully as he made plans to rule the world. ♪ i'm so hungry >> those who portrayed them as a rapper weren't alone. ♪ i'm only 5'3" but nobody going to [ bleep ] with me ♪ >> reporter: a kim jong-il impersonator delivered the weather on 30 rock.
11:52 am
>> always good time, beach party. >> reporter: in the west he is mocked, north korea is being rocked by grief. if you can believe the video. state tv showed north koreans crying and slapping the ground. a skeptic posted i've seen better acting from paris hilton. if it was acting there was plenty of it. inside homes. in front of murals. before statues. but the tears were more likely to be from laughter in the west over various list circulating like the top ten strange facts about kim jong-il. hard to confirm facts. such as he once attempted to breed giant rabbits to alleviate famine and claimed to have invented the ham burg erring. people don't usually speak ill of the dead unless your name is kim jong il
11:53 am
♪ seems like nobody takes me seriously ♪ >> reporter: jeanne moos, cnn, new york. >> a mom in indiana says the medicaid system is trying to kill her 4-month-old son but we find hope in her fight to keep him alive.
11:54 am
11:55 am
an indiana mom is taking on the state's medicaid system to save her baby's life. he was born with a deadly heart
11:56 am
defect and needs immediate special surgery. elizabeth cohen tells us she found hope in surprising places after hitting a roadblock with medicaid. >> didn't get you a bath this morning. >> reporter: she says government bureaucrats are trying to kill her 4-month-old baby. pierce was born with an extremely rare condition, about 16 children are born with it each year in the united states and have multiple heart defects, many die as infants. >> i sat by his bed hour by hour thinking if i close my eyes for a second that i would miss my last opportunity with him. >> reporter: pierce has spent most of his life here at the intensive care unit at riley children's hospital in indianapolis. he needs surgery soon or he will die. >> so when they first talked to you about surgery here, tell me what they said. >> that taking him into surgery would be like a death sentence rushing him into surgery at this
11:57 am
point was very unsafe. >> reporter: but the hospital ceo says his surgeons can do it. riley hospital says they've done nine open heart surgeries on baby like pierce over the past decade but fields found a larger hospital that says they've done over 100 in the past few years alone, boston children's hospital. many studdyes show the more procedure a hospital performs the better the outcomes. also boston has a cardiac intensive care unit, riley doesn't. there's a problem. pierce is on medicaid and they denied her request to transfer him to boston. >> reporter: is the government making a life or death decision about your child? >> absolutely. medicaid is the one who holds my child's life in their hands right now. >> we have regulations that we're required to adhere to. >> reporter: neil moore, a spokesman for medicaid said riley hospital is capable of doing pierce's surgery and is it doesn't matter boston has more
11:58 am
experien experience. >> this is not a question of what's the best medical choice. it's a question of based on the systems we have, the funding mechanism has very distinct regulations that are associated with that that we must adhere to. >> i heard you say this is not about the best medical choice for this child. what is it about? >> from the medicaid perspective of this circumstance, there's only one question that is being considered. that question is, is there a solution that exists in indiana? the answer to that has been given that there is one. >> i didn't ask him how often you didn't do. didn't ask them do you do it well or ask if there were other people to do it better? you can said can you do it and the answer is sure they can do it. you didn't ask was that the best care from baby pierce. why didn't you ask them that question? >> i've given you the answer repeatedly here that the process is in place that includes a
11:59 am
solution. and i don't know what else you can -- i can say to you that would be an appropriate answer beyond that. >> of course, hospitals can't be transferring children around for every major surgery but baby pierce's condition is so rare, only a few places like boston children's have had a lot of experience with the surgeries he needs. >> mommy's strong boy. >> reporter: back at the hospital, fields gets a miracle. mothers of other children with heart problems get together through facebook and donate enough money to send pierce to boston. >> i think it's sad a bunch of moms and strangers who don't even know me or my child have stepped up more to the plate than the government and insurance and medicaid. >> reporter: after the moms volunteered their money and after cnn started asking questions, the indiana hospital did step up and they paid for the transport. but medicaid even at the very end refused to pay a scent to get baby pierce to boston.
12:00 pm
elizabeth cohen, cnn, indianapolis. top of the hour, i'm suzanne malveaux. we want to get you up to speed. the ceremony that closes the war in iraq happens today, it is called a color ceremony. the return of the united states forces iraq colors, the flag that flew over baghdad. now you're looking at live pictures here now of the flag's arrival. the army general who oversaw the troop withdrawal is also on that plane. it's being met by president obama and vice president biden at andrews air force base. we'll have a live report from chris lawrence later this hour. with time running out on a deal, house democrats and republicans are fighting over a payroll tax cut could soon hit home for many of us. your family's finances, republicans don't like a senate passed two-month extension. they want a conversation committee to work out a
12:01 pm
year-long deal. it's causing all kinds of gridlock. >> most americans love this time of year, it's christmas time where we celebrate the birth of christ and spend time with our family and friends and at church. and i sent a quick message to my wife last night, honey, i may be here awhile. stay in the fight, americans need you. >> i love christmas too, but when the gentleman on the other side of the aisle suggests that somehow they are going to stay around here after today, i don't believe that for one minute. i guarantee you at the end of the day the republicans will go home. the difference is they are going to go home without having passed the senate bill that allows people to get their payroll tax kt cut, and unemployment insurance and seniors to access medicare. >> north korea's newly
12:02 pm
successor, kim jong-un visits the body of his father in a glass coffin. he is inherited the north korean leadership, including its nuclear arsenal. many around the world are worried about how he is going to lead. [ crying ] >> state run tv continues to show pictures like these, north koreans weeping uncontrollably as they supposedly mourn the death of the so-called dear leader. the nation is in an 11-day official mourning period. fre action rereactions are somewhat muted. south korean government did express the sympathy to people of north korea but will not send a government delegation. state department says a man being held by iran should be released without delay.
12:03 pm
iran's semi-official news agency broadcast this video of what it called the confession of a u.s. spy. the state department official on monday confirmed the man's family reported that he was detained in iran in september. the u.s. is now calling for his immediate release. the fbi says violent crime is actually down across the country. we want you to check out the map here. the midwest had the largest decrease in violent crime, an almost 10% drop in the first six months of this year compared to last year. the west came in second with crime there dropping about 6%. eric holder says communities are increasingly reaching out to help law enforcement agencies solve crimes. all right, so this is the kind of political gridlock that could have a very real impact on your family's bottom line. we are talking about a two-month extension of the payroll tax cut
12:04 pm
pass the senate and now language i lang diagno langishing in the house. the average increase, about $1,000 but it is a wide range. if you make $35,000 a year, you'll pay $700 more. if you make 110,000, your taxes will go up more than $2300. so the clock is ticking, frustration is building. >> political, it's not really to help people. motivation is to make sure they make each other look bad. >> they are supposed to be servants of the people and they all agree we need the payroll tax cut. >> congress isn't really considering the people of america and the struggles that we're going through. >> joining me now democratic representative steny hoyer from maryland. congressman, first of all, it seems like we are at a gridlock position here. no one seems to be budging.
12:05 pm
what can you do to convince either the democrats or the folks on the other aisle across the aisle to move this thing forward and avoid a tax increase? >> well, suzanne, what we're trying to do is say, look, the american people and we just heard spokesmen for them saying why can't they work together. why can't they come to an agreement? well, that's exactly what happened in the united states senate. they didn't like the house bill, as a matter of fact harry reid tried to put the house bill that the house members are talking about on the floor and the republicans objected. what they did was -- in consultation with john boehner came to an agreement. >> right. >> that agreement had 89 senators out of 100 agree on a proposition that would continue the middle class tax cut, would give certainty and assurance that as of january 1st there wouldn't be a tax cut, give 48 million americans assurance that they would still have access to their medicare doctors and give
12:06 pm
2.3 million americans an assurance they wouldn't lose their unemployment insurance and therefore their ability to support themselves and their families. >> at this point -- >> that's what we're urging us to dosh. >> at this point having known -- we know how we got to this point. >> right. >> how do we move this thing forward? clearly we're at a gridlock here. do you have new ideas or suggestions? >> suzanne, when you say we're at gridlock, the senate overwhelmingly greed and mcconnell said this was designed to past. very frankly the house bill was designed to fail, we know that. the president said he wouldn't sign it and senate said they wouldn't pass it. they passed it to the senate anyway knowing full well it would put us in that position. the way to get beyond this is to say, okay, we apparently, at least we articulate we all agree there ought to be a year extension. in the short term because we haven't reached agreement, let's pass the senate bill and give assurance for the next 60 days
12:07 pm
that the present position will stay in place, that's not hard to do. and work for the next 60 days and hopefully we can get that done in 30 days perhaps. that which we've been unable to do so far, come to an agreement on a year's extension. the payroll tax and unemployment insurance and other matters that we need to deal with, including paying doctors to take medicare patients appropriate sums. we need to do all three of those. we can do it easily. all we need to do is pass the senate, 83% of the republican senators and 90% of the democratic senators agreed on this proposition. the tea party faction however of the republican conference rejected john boehner's recommendation that they do this. >> so is there anything -- >> we're trying to convince, let's move forward. >> are you optimistic because
12:08 pm
republican colleagues say they won't support you on house side. we're talking about the house obviously, they say they are not going to go along. is there any reason to be optimistic that they will vote in favor of this? >> suzanne, if we see this continuing avulgs, as i call it of opposition ofonfrontation and of a refusal to come to compromise, i'm not optimistic and i think that's tragic for the 160 million americans that will be affected in terms of their taxes. and of the people on medicare. and the unemployed who will be adversely affected. so i hope the republicans come to their sense and say, yes, we've done this before. for instance, we pass a continuing resolution when we can't agree on funding levels. we pass that for a short period of time so that we can try to come to agreement and often we do in fact come to an agreement. that's all we're asking today.
12:09 pm
we think that's a reasonable thing to do. six republican united states senators are urging the house members to do just that. harry reid has indicated -- >> okay. >> in order -- here's -- in order to do what the republicans want to do, you have to have three cloe tour votes. each one of those cloture votes requires 30 hours of debate. as a practical matter, we have seen united states senate unable to come to grips with that. now we see them having reached an agreement. we ought to take yes for an answer. >> all right, congressman. >> we ought to continue to do the people's business in a constructive positive way. >> we're going to have to leave it there. we hope this is resolved averting a tax increase for so many americans during this holiday season. joined by the center for politics at the university of virginia. first of all, explain to us, there's a position here that -- and there's the two-month
12:10 pm
extension of this payroll tax cut or this year-long extension. why is that at the center of this debate? >> oh, suzanne what's really at the center of the debate is the extreme polarization that exists now between the two parties. they will fight about anything. and we've all seen the polls in congress where they have approval, job approval levels of 7 to 9%. in listening to congressman hoyer, he's a great guy and listening to the people on republican side explain their point of view, i'm convinced they are trying for zero. if they don't come together and agree to continue this payroll tax credit, they are going to find their ratings falling either further and it will have consequences next november when they are on the ballot. >> you hear congressman steny hoyer and some of the republicans weigh in on this
12:11 pm
matter, which side do you think is going to pay for this if this doesn't work out by january? >> i think disproportionately the republicans are going to pay because there's a disagreement between the senate republicans and the house republicans. it's clear the senate republicans thought they had an agreement for this two-month extension that it would at least get them through so they could debate it again as we approach the two-month limit. and of course the house members particularly the freshman and tea party, they had good arguments as to why the two-month extension wasn't a good idea. but the long and short of it is, that they've wasted weeks in negotiations. this reminds me of the super committee, i think we all wasted all of our optimism on the super committee. nothing happened. here they are again arguing about something that 85% of the american people are in agreement on. democrats, republicans and independents. and they wonder why people see them as hopeless.
12:12 pm
>> all right, well, hopefully they will work this out before january, larry sabato, thank you very much. first, we're live in egypt where a million women march is protesting the beating of a female demonstrator. do you remember president bush's axis of evil? less than 15 minutes, the possible new threats ahead now that most of those original leaders are gone. then riveting testimony out of philadelphia, it is really trag tragic, disabled adults were held captive for their disability checks. and emotional meeting of two families now bonded in tragedy and gratitude. and a year in review for the techkys. brie just unroll, wrap the brie and bake. it's so easy. now this might even impress aunt martha. pillsbury crescent wrapped brie. holiday ideas made easy. because for every two pounds you lose
12:13 pm
through diet and exercise, alli can help you lose one more by blocking some of the fat you eat. let's fight fat with alli. ♪ but my nose is still runny. [ male announcer ] truth is, dayquil doesn't treat that. really? [ male announcer ] alka-seltzer plus fights your worst cold symptoms, plus it relieves your runny nose. [ deep breath] awesome. [ male announcer ] yes, it is. that's the cold truth! you'd do that for me? really? yeah, i'd like that. who are you talking to? uh, it's jake from state farm. sounds like a really good deal. jake from state farm at three in the morning. who is this? it's jake from state farm. what are you wearing, jake from state farm? [ jake ] uh... khakis. she sounds hideous. well she's a guy, so... [ male announcer ] another reason more people stay with state farm. get to a better state. ♪
12:14 pm
[♪...] >> male announcer: book now, save up to 65%. call 1-800-sandals.
12:15 pm
syria now says it will execute so-called terrorists. the announcement is seen as a direct threat to the anti-government protesters. it comes as two opposition groups accuse government forces ever killing 100 people during yesterday's protest. you are looking here at the funeral of the man who is allegedly killed by army and security forces. this crowd chants, we will defend our martyr with our souls and blood. the u.n. estimates 5,000 people have died in political violence in syria this year alone. in egypt, demonstrators and security forces clashed at the million women march. this is to call attention to what protesters say is regime violence against female
12:16 pm
demonstrators. these photos show a woman being beaten and dragged in tahrir square. mohammed joins us right now in cairo. so many people saw that woman being beaten by the egyptian military, carried away. is there anyone on the ground trying to reach her on protect her? >> reporter: suzanne, many people here both inside and outside egypt trying to find this woman, trying to do more for her case and trying to urge her to speak publicly. we've only heard from friends of hers and friends of her family so far. sherecuperating. you can see the kind of injury she sustained. it was horrific. at the moment she wants to stay basically away from the press, away from the media and away from the gaze of the egyptian society. weaver told through friends of hers she said this tape speaks
12:17 pm
for itself at the moment. >> what is happening to the women there in the million women march? have she shared the same fate of that woman we see in those photos? >> reporter: suzanne, we were out during this march that happened today. there were men also there as well. it is a big crowd. and they were quite vocal. they were chanting, down with the regime. they were calling the supreme court council of the armed forces liars. they were upset what happened the last days in the clashes, especially the brutality that women protesters have been facing by riot police and members of the security forces. i spoke to one woman out there, a human rights activist. here's what she had to say.
12:18 pm
>> i'm here to violently condemn the attacks on egyptian men and women by the egyptian army. we will not be quiet and we will continue to voice out our anger against this military killing this country. >> reporter: the women that were out there today clearly showing some concern about their safety and the men that were out there today were concerned as well. in fact, we saw men forming protective rings around the women as they were marching. they didn't want other men not part of this crowd to get too close because there is concern about what will happen to these women that are out there. >> thank you. the nation's midsection is getting socked with snow. we're going to get the latest on this massive winter storm.
12:19 pm
12:20 pm
12:21 pm
putting holiday plans on hold for many folks, parts of new mexico, texas, and kansas all especially hard hit. this is what looked like in southwest kansas last night. close to a foot of snow came down. alexandra joins us for what is happening with the store today. >> 2 feet of snow in new mexico. 60 to 70-mile-per-hour wind gusts. here's our big blizzard waining in scope. here's kansas, texas, it is all now lifting to the north. this storm has really two sides, the cold back side where we saw 1 to 2 feet of snow and this warm side where we've got a lag of showers and storms moving
12:22 pm
through mississippi and alabama. what we're going to see with the storm. we'll watch it move north. here it is currently. we'll put this into motion tonight. chicago gets a little bit of it maybe a little bit of sleet but predominantly a rain maker. tomorrow, it becomes the east coast storm just a rain event, suzanne, no snow with this at all. look what happens as we head towards thursday, another storm system comes in. a very active pattern. >> all right, thanks. do you remember president bush's axis of evil. two of the three dictators are now dead. is there a new threat? we'll talk to our national security contributor who was president bush's once terrorism leading adviser. that's why every day we help people across the country get into their first homes. prepare for a comfortable retirement and protect the people and things that matter most. at genworth we believe every day is the right day to take a step toward tomorrow.
12:23 pm
multi-policy discount. paperless discount. paid-in-full discount. [yawning] homeowner's discount. safe driver discount. chipmunk family reunion. someone stole the nuts. squirrel jail.
12:24 pm
justice! countless discounts. now that's progressive. call or click today.
12:25 pm
it's been almost ten years since president bush named iran and iraq and north korea an axis of evil. >> states like these and their terrorist allies constitute an axis of evil. arming to threaten the peace of the world. by seeking weapons of mass destruction, these regimes pose a grave and growing danger. >> so when the president delivered that state of the union address january of 2002, saddam hussein was president of iraq and mahmoud ahmadinejad was president of iran and kim jong-il was the leader of north korea. ahmadinejad is the only one still in power. kim jong-il died on saturday.
12:26 pm
saddam hussein executed five years ago. cnn national security contributor fran townsend is joining us here. she's a member of both of homeland xurlt and cia external advisory boards. let's start off with iran's ahmadinejad. only member left of president bush's axis of evil. is he still a big threat? >> he's not only remained a big threat but probably stronger right now than he was even when president bush gave that speech. we've seen the development of their continuing development of nuclear weapons program. strengthening ties with hezbollah in lebanon, which reportedly picked up a group of american spies and growing strengthening ties with assad who is seeking to murder his own people. ahmadinejad was not only a member of the axis of evil and his sort of policies in iran, but remains a very serious threat to the united states and to the region.
12:27 pm
>> fran, what about now that kim jong-il is dead. do we know enough about his son kim jong-un to consider him a member of this axis of evil, a real threat? >> when you listen to president bush's speech, he's not talking about individuals, he's talking about countries and regimes whose policies are a threat to their own people or region or the world. i don't think we know enough about the son of kim jong-il. we've seen no reason to believe that the policies of north korea will change, their nuclear weapons program remain a threat to china and the region of asia. you bring up the point it's about the policy, not necessarily the person here. is there a leader that's emerging or is there a government that is a new member of the axis of evil, a new threat to the united states? >> i've mentioned bash ar assad, he continues to threaten them. he uses his power and military
12:28 pm
against his own people. probably the biggest growing threat in terms of you know, just regionally and causing of instability is bashar al assad in syria. not only for egypt and jordan and surrounding neighbors but frankly because of his relationship with ahmadinejad and iran. he is a world threat. >> would we consider hugo chavez who famously called president bush the devil, would he stack up, be a member of this axis of evil as well? >> you know, let's remember, hugo chavez is very gravely ill. he's traveled to cuba to seek medical treatment and been much less of a public presence. he is certainly a threat regionally to his neighbor colombia but less of a worldwide threat. you're looking at does he have the sort of weapons programs that threaten the world? no. >> fran, thank you very much. >> what do americans think about the job that president and congress are doing right now? we have brand-new cnn poll numbers up next. every single day.
12:29 pm
that's why every day we help people across the country get into their first homes. prepare for a comfortable retirement and protect the people and things that matter most. at genworth we believe every day is the right day to take a step toward tomorrow. hey, hey, hey, hey. i can see who's on my network people! lance? lance? yes, yes you are next. all right. dave, i'm in. ♪ katie! what are you doing, sweetheart? supplementing my allowance. how long have we been gone? [ male announcer ] get low prices on the latest 4g phones, starting at $28.88. save money. live better. walmart.
12:30 pm
12:31 pm
we've got brand-new polls on how americans view the president and congress right now. wolf blitzer is joining us from washington. what are the new polls show, wolf? >> they show a pretty good number for the president of the united states. he's doing a little better than he was only in november. let's put if up on the screen.
12:32 pm
our brand-new cnn/orc poll, how is president obama handling his job as president? right now 49% approve of the job he's doing. in november 44% approved. that's a 5-point uptick, not a bad place to be 11 months away from the election in november of 2012. another question we asked about confidence in the president versus confidence in the republicans in congress. let's put that number up as well. 50% say they have more confidence in the president than they do in the republican leadership in congress. only 31% say they have more confidence in the republicans in congress than they do the president. look at the shift since march. in march it was only 44% for president obama and 39% for the gop in congress. only a 5-point spread. now it's a 19-point spread. why is the president doing better than the republicans right now?
12:33 pm
why is his job approval number going up? the internal factors are showing, u zsuzanne, that it's partially his fight to keep the tax cut for 160 million americans. that's part of the explanation. but it should be welcome news over at the white house at the obama re-election campaign in chicago and for democrats in general. >> what about likability here? what does the poll say about congress and the president? how do they stack up in terms of who's more liked? >> as far as approval for congress, that's not a good number for congress. right now in our brand-new cnn/orc poll, only 16% approval of the way congress is handling its job. 83% disapprove. that's similar to other polls, down to 12% approval for congress. congress as a whole, democrats and republicans in congress, they have a lot of work to do to convince the american public that they are doing a good job in this fight as you've been reporting, suzanne, over
12:34 pm
extending the payroll tax cut and back and forth between the senate and house will further undermine congressional credibility right now. as far as likability for the president, he's pretty well liked. we'll put it up on screen. what is your opinion of president obama as a person? 76% approve of the president as a person. only 19% disapprove. that's a pretty good number for this president. just getting back to the headlines in this brand-new poll, pretty good numbers for the president going into his re-election, this is a snap shot, it can change very dramatically depending on what happens. his few months ago his job approval number was higher after the killing of bin laden. right now 49% job approval, that's a good number. >> still time for all of this to change as well. thank you, wolf. the close of the war in iraq, it is happening right now with the ceremonial return of the u.s. flag that flew over
12:35 pm
baghdad. president obama and vice president biden are at andrews air force base and so is chris lawrence. chris, explain to us what is taking place, the significance of this? obviously symbolic but very meaningful as well. >> that's right. this is basically the commanding general of the u.s. forces in iraq returning here to the united states with the official colors of that mission. he'll then present the flag to the president and announce to everyone that the colors have been returned to u.s. soil. just about half an hour ago, the plane touched down in andrews air force base. about 30 troops were on that plane. these are some of the senior advisers to general lloyd austin, the commanding general there. each of those was greeted by the president. and the president gave each of the troops a special presidential coin. they then filed into the hangar area where the actual ceremony is going to take place and
12:36 pm
probably within next five or ten minutes, general lloyd austin will announce the colors are again safe by back on u.s. soil. it was just thursday when those colors were formally cased in baghdad which ended the mission there. they rolled the flag around the pole and put it -- covered it with a camouflage bag and now it is being returned to the united states. interesting note about general austin, he took over in september of 2010 when the combat mission in iraq ended. but he was actually there nearly nine years ago. in fact, he was a younger officer then and he gave the order for some of the lead troops of the third infantry division to cross that border into iraq at the very start of the war. >> and chris, there's some critics of the war who are sayings soon as we completely withdraw, there's going to be violence that is going to flare up in iraq. we already know the shiite
12:37 pm
government is trying to arrest the vice president of the country, who's a sunni. do we have any sense of the state of iraq and what is happening there now that we are leaving? >> reporter: well, it is certainly a troubling development. the vice president has basically fled to the northern part of iraq, after security forces raided his home in the green zone and arrested some of his staff. allegedly they have arrested some of his bodyguards who supposedly confessed that the vice president ordered them to commit murder. but he says he is fully ready to fight these charges. he said he denied these charges of terror and ready to testify. you're right thrks basically escalates between nuri al mallky's government and the sunni politicians. they have yesterday to be able to come together and really form a unified government and now
12:38 pm
with the u.s. gone, that is a very troubling development. >> chris lawrence, thank you very much. what's the coolest technology of 2011? is it tablets? a look back at the highs and lows of the tech world. here's free advice from the cnn help desk. >> time for the help desk where we get answers to your financial questions. joining me this hour, gary shat xi, president of objective advice.com and gayle cunningham. thank you both for being here. first question to you from chris in florida. chris writes, my wife is approximately $45,000 in student debt spread out over ten loans. she is a teacher in a low income school and could possibly receive repayment help what's the best way to simplify and reduce that debt? >> wow, $45,000 spreads over ten months, that's a bit complicated for them to keep up with. i do think there may be help available to them through income based repayment plans.
12:39 pm
now we are speaking here of federal loans. so if their loans are private, that may be a different animal to deal with. but income based repayment apply for that, they are going to ask for documentation of course, such things as previous tax returns, et cetera. but that's okay. it's going to be well worth it. she may also require some forgiveness along the way and she would probably qualify for that having been in the type of job she is in in the teaching profession. >> that's a good thing to look into. >> consolidate those loans. get the payment started. >> and gary, your question comes from jonathan in san diego. jonathan wrote, i'm considering rolling over several 401(k) plans from former employers into an ira. how do the legal protections from the two differ? >> that's a good question. first of all, from the legal protection standpoint you're normally talking about creditor protection or bankruptcy. generally, and it depends state by state, 401(k)'s have greater
12:40 pm
protection but not all states. there are tremendous flexibility on your investments and you can get cheaper funds. so unless you're really concerned about credit risk, rolling to an ira often makes a lot of sense. >> folks, if you have a question you want answered, sends us an e-mail any time at cnn help desk at cnn.com. hello, how can i deliver world-class service for you today ? we gave people right off the street a script and had them read it. no, sorry, i can't help you with that. i'm not authorized to access that transaction. that's not in our policy. i will transfer you now. my supervisor is currently not available. would you like to hold ? that department is currently closed. have i helped you with everything you needed ? if your bank doesn't give you knowledgeable customer service 24/7, you need an ally.
12:41 pm
ally bank. no nonsense. just people sense.
12:42 pm
12:43 pm
four people accused of keeping mentally disabled adults locked in a basement are in a philadelphia courtroom again today. they say this was all part of a plot to steal social security checks. two of the alleged victims testified today. one of them talked about being beaten and locked in a closet. she also described her horrific ride from florida to philadelphia. sara hoy was in the courtroom and joins us live from philadelphia. what kind of new details have we learned from the alleged victims? >> reporter: today was day two and for today's victims,
12:44 pm
apparently beatrice weston, the niece of linda weston who they are calling the ring leader, she was saying that during her car ride from west palm beach florida to philadelphia, she and the other victims, the four who were found in the basement themselves, were in the back of an expedition sitting on top of each other, not allowed out, not allowed food. she even testified today that she had to urinate on herself during that ride. once she was in philadelphia, u zan, she was put and locked in a bathroom closet in the apartment of jean mcintosh which is where the victims were found in the apartment building in philadelphia. she was locked in a small crawl space. they showed pictures and she did identify, yes, i was look locked this that closet two to three weeks. she was unsure because she couldn't tell what day it was because she was never let out of the bathroom. >> two or three weeks. i understand there might have
12:45 pm
been testimony that it was nailed shut, is that correct? >> reporter: there was another closet nailed shut in west palm. yesterday another victim testified he was locked in the close et in one of the residences they lived there by being nailed in and beatrice today testified to being locked in a closet in west palm beach where she was nailed in a closet. closets were being used to holded folks in florida and also in philadelphia. there's a lot more details coming out in the preliminary hearings. >> horrific story. what is next for these four who have been charged? >> reporter: well right now you're going to hear more from the prosecution. they are bringing forth their witnesses who are then going to see if there's enough evidence for this to go to fril. you'll have closing arguments by the defendant's attorneys and judge will rule if this should go to trial. >> how are the victims going? who's taking care of them now? do they have proper care? >> reporter: yes, they are being cared for. they are in various facilities some family members are looking
12:46 pm
in on them. for right now they are being used -- not being used, being held or worked on in different facilities. some of the conditions were pretty bad. we heard testimony from police officers on the scene after 911 was called and as well as a crime scene investigator. they had said these victims kept in the basement were very, very malnourished, there was bones protruding from their body. one of the victims who was the only woman in the group had been beaten so badly that she had scars, scabs over her body. once they took off her wig, you could see she had been also hit, scabs on her head. it was pretty gruesome. they are getting fed and being cared after and their families are looking in on them. >> thank you so much. we appreciate it. two families who share a deep bond, we're going to show you how they turned a tragic death into life. ♪ making your way in the world today ♪
12:47 pm
12:48 pm
♪ takes everything you've got ♪ wouldn't you like to get away? ♪ ♪ ♪ sometimes you want to go where everybody knows your name ♪ ♪ ♪ you want to be where you can see ♪ ♪ our troubles are all the same ♪ ♪ you want to go where everybody knows your name ♪ ♪
12:49 pm
smartphones, this year's gadget is the it gift followed by the ipad 2. joining us now to look at the year that was in tech. >> reporter: a lot happened this year in technology. we can tell you it was a huge year for the birds. it was a terrible year for the berries, for them and certain company called netflix, this was a year worth for getting. take a look. 2011 was the year of the tablet as device makers scrambled to catch up with apple's ipad. nearly all of them were flops, including the playbook from blackberry. and speaking of blackberry, the
12:50 pm
one time king of smart phones found its reputation damaged. millions of users couldn't send or receive e-mails for more than three days. forcing the company's ceo to deliver an online mea culpa. >> you expect better from us and i expect better from us. >> reporter: the netflix brand took a hit as users complained over a 60% price hike in the movie rental service. >> shame on you, netflix. >> reporter: and the pr only got worse. >> we think that the dvd service needs its own brand so we can advertise it. we named it qwikster. >> customers hated the idea and reed hastings reversed himself. netflix stock, meanwhile, plummeted. but some brands saw fortunes soar. angry birds went to an
12:51 pm
merchandising bonanza, they got excited with linkedin and groupon. silicon valley had flashbacks to the dot com bubble era but the interest in stock prices faded. we saw social networking front and center as in the middle east they used it spread and organize messages and egyptian leaders shut down internet access during the height of the revolution. it was also a big year for hackers. as groups like anonymous launched politically motivated attacks. it also became clear that smartphones would represent the next frontier for criminals. >> who's your friend? >> it's the old at&t network. >> a proposed merger between at&t and t-mobile but the justice department said no go amid concerns it would harm
12:52 pm
competition in the u.s. wireless market. >> this year cloud computing became en vogue. >> we're going to move the digital hub, the center of your digital life into the cloud. >> reporter: of course the biggest tech story of the year was the loss of steve jobs. >> people around the world are mourning the death of apple founder steve jobs. >> reporter: the apple ceo lost his long time battle with pancreatic cancer, never before had a company chief executive have such a loving fan base. >> as we announce innovations -- >> reporter: the company is a smooth transition with tim cook taking over and apple had another major hit on its hands with its new iphone, the 4s which took voice noigs to a whole new level. >> find me an italian restaurant in north beach. >> reporter: so as you can see, a lot happened in the world of technology in 2011.
12:53 pm
and with innovation continuing at a rapid pace, i think 2012 looks to be the same. >> dan, i'm usually one of the folks behind the technology here. tell me what you think will be the biggest tech story for next year. >> reporter: i think we're going to see facebook finally go public. i think that will be an enormous story. i'm going to go out on a limb and say apple will have another huge year. i think we'll be talking about the ipad 3, the iphone 5, and maybe an apple television if the rumors are true, apple will be poised to reinvent television the same way they did with the phone. and also, i think sadly we'll be seeing the beginning of the end for blackberry. i think that company is in an enormous tailspin and i'm not sure how they will come out of it. >> i'm a blackberry cell phone user kind of both of them here. what are people looking for? what do they really want next year out of the technology?
12:54 pm
>> reporter: i think they want ease of use and a beautiful interface. it comes down to that. most people don't have the time to sit down and read the manual and the best technologies are the easiest ones that have a but it will design. i think that's why apple has led the way and i think everyone is trying to catch up to them. >> dan, thanks, as one who does not read the manual but depends on friends to help me walk through all this stuff. thanks again. from death to life, one family's tragedy is becoming another family's saving grace. ♪
12:55 pm
anything? no. ♪ how about now? nope. ♪ [ dog barking ] ♪ ♪ [ male announcer ] the chevy silverado. ♪ [ male announcer ] with best-in-class 4x4 available v8 fuel economy. finally! ♪ [ male announcer ] from getting there... to getting away from there. chevy runs deep. okay... uhh. the bad news, it's probably totaled. the good news is, you don't have to pay your deductible. with vanishing deductible from nationwide insurance, you got $100 off for every year of safe driving, so now your deductible is zero. the other good news ? i held on to your coffee. wow. ♪ nationwide is on your side ( laughing ) it's actually a pretty good day when you consider. that's great.
12:56 pm
12:57 pm
we've got breaking news from capitol hill, we want to go to to kate. kate, what just happened? >> reporter: it seems to be one step closer in the standoff really that we have been witnessing really unfold, suzanne. in a vote that just happened in the house, 229-193, the house voted essentially through a procedural maneuver which we don't have to get into the imaginations of what it is to reject, to vote to disagree with the senate measure that short term extension of a two-month extension of the payroll tax
12:58 pm
cut. instead the house republicans who voted in the majority, they want to go to conference to hash out differences over the payroll tax extension issue. the house essentially voting here to disagree with the senate, rejecting it, showing it doesn't have the support in the house to pass and here we go to the next step, which is quite unclear. >> thank you, kate. two families who now share a special bond that happened after a deadly accident. the story is part of our giving in focus story. showing us how the pain of losing a child can lead to the hope of keeping another alive. >> i was very happy boy and it's impossible to not cry when i speak about him. >> translator: he died on
12:59 pm
february the 14th in an accident while sledding in the snow. >> the snow was too hard, there was ice. the doctor told me my son was brain dead. and somebody come to ask me about organ and tesh tissue donation. >> they saw the opportunity to leave a legacy of life where they could see hernan's gift grow into other people rns hernan donated four organs, his heart and liver and both kidneys. >> basically when they did a transplant, my liver was shrinking, i was pretty sick. >> in the case of megan, it was wonderful they were able to meet her face to face. >> it's so good to see you all here this morning. >> today we are very happy to meet the liver recipient, megan and to know my son is still living inher. >> this is our 9th year in the

64 Views

info Stream Only

Uploaded by TV Archive on